President Biden will host a concert by superstar Elton John on the White House lawn Friday night — the exclusive location for filming a TV special.
Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will speak at the 8 p.m. concert, hosted by A&E Networks, which the special will then air at an unknown time in the future.
“As you all know, tonight we will be welcoming Sir Elton John,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at her regular press briefing — after reporters heard microphone taps from the adjacent driveway.
The Bidens “look forward to welcoming him to the White House for a spectacular performance on the South Lawn,” Jean-Pierre said.
The ‘Tiny Dancer’ and ‘Rocket Man’ star is widely respected across the political spectrum, even appearing at Donald Trump’s 2005 wedding to Melania Trump at the Republican Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
But when Trump won the 2016 election in a shocking upset, John declined to perform at his inauguration, saying: “As a British citizen, I do not think it appropriate to play at the inauguration of an American president.”
Despite getting the cold shoulder from John, Trump appropriated the title of one of his most famous songs to give North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un the nickname “Little Rocket Man” in 2017. After exchanging insults, Trump and Kim met three times in a dramatic cooling of tensions.
And Trump famously responded to the 2020 death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg under the wing of Air Force One with “Tiny Dancer” playing in the background. Her death allowed Trump to nominate conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett, giving the court a rightward swing, including this year’s abolition of state abortion rights.
Jean-Pierre said Biden will “celebrate the tremendous contributions Sir Elton has made in his life as an artist and a lawyer, and they are particularly pleased to welcome an audience of around 2,000 fans, made up of teachers, to the White House and composed of nurses and frontline workers, mental health advocates, students, LGBTQ+ advocates and so many others.”
The spokeswoman said that “Tonight’s performance was organized and paid for in association with A&E [its subsidiary] the history [Channel] and will be televised at a later date.”
A&E is jointly owned by Disney and Hearst.
A White House statement said the event was titled “A Night Where Hope and History Rhyme.”
The event “celebrates the unifying and healing power of music, celebrates the life and work of Sir Elton John and honors the everyday stories of the audience.”